Your to do list grows at an alarming rate when you’re in the process of moving. Finding a new place to live, a new job, hiring movers, and researching schools are just a few things you have to think about before you move. But what about expenses? There are so many things that are often overlooked during this stressful process. We have assembled a full list of expenses to plan for. Our experiences with real estate and multiple military moves give us unique insight into this subject. You will find this list goes beyond moving costs to consider all expenses that are directly and indirectly associated with your move. We want you to be successful in your moving process, and planning for expenses is such an important part of that.
Choosing to move to a new city is just the beginning. Now it’s time to come up with a game plan. Before you start looking at your timeline and everything you need to organize, you’ll need to take a close look at the cost of your endeavor. How much will it cost to move yourself and all your possessions to a new location? How much money will you need to sustain yourself in your new location while you are looking for a new job? What other expenses might in your future? We have tried to think of every possible expense for you.
Start with assessing your current financial situation:
1. What are your savings/checking account balances?
2. Can you bring in extra cash by selling [some] of your possessions and add it to your savings?
3. What do you owe in total? Count all your credit cards and other payments
Then consider the following expenses associated with moving. This will also help you make a decision about HOW you want to move.
1. Untangling everything in your current Location
What will it cost to get out of your current apartment/house?
- If you rent: think about possible junk removal, repairs in the home, and perhaps hiring cleaning service to help you?
- If you own: it will add additional complexity to your plans. How much will it cost to prepare your home to sell? How much will it cost to sell your home? What might be your projected proceeds or debt?
- If you own your house/condo and you want to rent it out: Time to calculate how much money you’ll receive by renting and if it will cover your mortgage, HOA fees, and property management fees.
- Will you need a storage unit until you can be packed up?
- Will you get deposits returned to you or credits upon cancellation of utilities?
Related Reading: Colorado Springs Relocation Guide
2. Moving Costs
Cost will vary depending on how you move.
Things to consider for a DIY move:
- Will you pack and transport everything yourself? Then plan to pay for boxes, packing materials, and a truck rental.
- How will you get your car AND the moving truck simultaneously to the new city? Will you have someone to drive with you or will you need a rental truck with a towing package?
If you hire a moving company then you will receive a quote that should include all individual costs (packing and transportation).
PRO Tip: Remember that you might be able to save a lot of money by simply choosing to not take things with you and then repurchasing them again in your new town. For example, if you have an old washer and dryer you can sell it and use the money to buy a new (or new-to-you) set when you arrive.
3. Cost of Living
This might not seem like it could make a huge difference, but each state, and even county or city has their own set of living expenses. If these living expenses are less than where you live now: count yourself as lucky. If that is not the case, figure out how much it differs, how much your living expenses are, and if you are able to sustain yourself. Or come up with a plan for how you’ll be able to accomplish that.
Use an online cost of living calculator. Some allow you to directly compare how your current yearly income stacks up to Colorado Springs, and suggest what you’ll have to earn here in order to maintain your current standard of living. The greatest impact on your living expenses in Colorado Springs is housing.
Related Reading: Is the Cost of Living in Colorado Springs High?
4. Cost of Housing
As you start to compare cost categories in your cost of living calculator, you will see that housing will account for a large portion of expenses. Generally, if you are moving west, chances are that home prices will increase. If you are moving east, home prices might decrease (with the exception of large metro areas).
If you already have employment, hopefully your employer considers these costs and offers compensation accordingly. If you come to Colorado Springs without a job offer, be aware that your housing dollar might not go as far as it does in other cities.
- You will have to pay for your rental applications regardless of whether you are awarded the rental.
- How much is the deposit?
- How is your credit score? You will have a harder time finding a rental in Colorado Springs with a low credit score. If you do find one, you might pay a higher rent.
- You could potentially negotiate a reduction in your rent rate by prepaying for part or all of your lease time. Or you can potentially negotiate a shorter rental contract.
- Pet deposits: Do you have more than 1 or 2 pets? Be prepared to pay a (possibly nonrefundable) pet deposit. Have a cat? You might not be able to apply at all. More and more homeowners have had bad experiences with cat owner renters and therefore decide not to allow them.
- How long will it take to buy?
- Will you have to rent for a few weeks before you can close on your home?
- Will you need storage?
- How much is storage?
- What are all the costs related to your home purchase?
- Will you need to make repairs in your new home?
Related Reading: Colorado Springs Real Estate by the Numbers
5. Re-buying Furniture and Appliances
You decided it was cheaper to sell your big sofa instead of paying to have it packed up and transported. Now you have to buy a new sofa. It will add up. Make a list early and add it to your calculations.
6. Loss of certain Local Benefits
Are you currently receiving special state or county benefits that are not available in Colorado Springs anymore? This could include any senior tax exemption or veteran exemptions.
7. Increased distance to Relatives and Friends
Are you currently living near a tight net of friends and family? Then what are cost that you might occur because you don’t have them around? Maybe some of your family provided daycare for your children? Will your travel expenses to family events increase? It seems farfetched, but it does add to overall cost of your new life.
Will transportation expenses change for you? Will you be able to use your bike instead of a car? Will you have to buy a new car? In Colorado, it’s definitely a good idea to have an all-wheel drive car or snow tires for the winter.
9. Job Hunt
Unless you already have a new job, save at least 3 months of living expenses. This will allow you to have plenty of time to find a new employment.
Related Reading: Guest Post: Finding a Job in a New City
No one likes surprise expenses. Detailed planning will help you prevent them. Colorado Springs is all or mostly new to you, so try to assess and know as much as possible about the process. Click the picture below to download our free, customizable Moving Expenses Worksheet.